Annual Labor Day Arts and Crafts festival to draw crowd

Visitors to last year’s Labor Day Arts and Craft Festival look over wooden bowls, cutting boards and napkin holders. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Whether looking for gifts or items for themselves, shoppers who visit the upcoming Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival will have plenty of choices.

In its 49th year, the annual festival at Hemlock Park will feature wheel-thrown pottery, hand-woven baskets, stained and blown glass, oak furniture, paintings, jewelry, metal work, clothing, lawn ornaments and a variety of other items.

More than 10,000 attendees peruse the different booths and enjoy all the festival has to offer, said Jennifer Heinzman, executive director of the Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce.

“Vendors and customers come from all over the state,” she said. “It’s completely different each year. The vendors are never the same.”

The event is sponsored by Walmart and is free to attend.

Heinzman always starts her Christmas shopping at the arts and crafts festival, she said.

“There are so many one-of-a-kind pieces and things you can’t find anywhere else,” Heinzman said.

During the festival, there will be concessions and Cran-Hill Ranch is bringing a rock climbing wall. There also will be activities for kids.

The Friends of the Big Rapids Community Library Used Book Sale will be there as well.

“There is something for everyone,” Heinzman said.

At the nearby bandshell there will be music and between the park and bandshell will be nonprofit row, where local nonprofits will be set up to provide information to attendees.

Over in Mitchell Creek, the annual Labor Day car show will be going on during the arts and crafts festival.

Vendor space is still available at this year’s festival. The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications until Sept. 1. Applications can be found on the chamber’s website mecostacounty.com, or by calling (231) 796-7649.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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